The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Engr. Saleh Dunoma, has reiterated the readiness of the agency to partner with private investors in a bid to improve infrastructure at the nation’s airports.
Speaking to journalists at the just concluded three-day World Aviation Forum (WAF) organised by the International Civil Aviatio Oragnisation (ICAO) in Abuja, Dunoma assured that the agency would collaborate with investors to develop the sector.
While agreeing that some of the infrastructure in aviation industry required urgent attention, he explained that the management was already working on replacing some of the facilities that required changes.
He explained that the airport manager had in place policy to improve the infrastructure at the airports and stressed some of the projects were currently outlined, some at designed stage while others were at proposal stage.
“These are some of the things we have to showcase to prospective investors so that they will come and sit with us because you are not supposed to go too far when coming out with details of the developments. Investors who have the money will determine the level of investments.
“Our own is just to tell them where we are and where we want to be. They will sit with us and discuss the details of these investments, identify all the projects that we have and how they want to take the aviation industry forward,” he said.
He, however, noted that cost details of various projects would depend on design, investors, cost of funds and others, adding that before putting a cost to a project, several indices required consideration.
On the projection by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that the facilities on the continent’s aviation industry would be inadequate to catre for air travellers by 2020, Dunoma said that the agency was already planning ahead to tackle the forecasted challenges.
According to him, the on-going construction of terminal buildings in various airports was parts of the move to arrest the possible ugly situation, emphasising that FAAN had just finished the repair of the Abuja Airport runway while plans had also reached an advanced stage to commence construction of a second runway for the airport.
He further pointed out that the recent certifications of both Lagos and Abuja airports were pointer to the fact that FAAN was already planning ahead to tackle any infrastructure challenges.
He added: “Now, we are moving into Port Harcourt, Kano, Enugu and other airports. Government is doing a lot, but we need to do a lot more that is why investments would be required.”
On the recent surveys by an online organisation, which rated Port Harcourt and Abuja Airports third and fifth worst airports respectively, Dunoma said the organisation was largely unknown.
He said the management would be bothered if international organisations like ICAO, Airport Council International (ACI), IATA or even the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), rated the airports low, but said so far, FAAN had received accolades from the organisations.